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Entries in Costume Design (222)

Thursday
Feb022017

Three Fittings: High Glamour and Low Spies in "Allied"

[New Series! Three Fittings will celebrate costume design in the movies. The number is necessary self-restraint for we love the art of costuming too much. We kicked off last week with La La Land icymi.]

Allied begins strongly with a weirdly lulling quiet parachute descent into the Moroccan dessert. Moments later the man from the sky is all wrapped up a stone blue headscarf, his face obscured, presumably to protect it from the sun and sand. This obscures the movie star within which is never a good thing so the scarf loses its functionality almost immediately. It's suddenly an accessory rather than a tool, just another texture and a complimentary color to the fetching earth tone ensemble on a ridiculously handsome man walking toward a car far off in the distance.

Who knew that an empty road in the desert could double as a runway?

Costume designer Joanna Johnston clues you in immediately that you're looking at a movie that's aiming for the glamorous illusion of Old Hollywood...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan262017

Three Fittings: Oscar Nominated "La La Land"

by Nathaniel R

Welcome to "Three Fittings" in which we will celebrate costume design in the movies weekly. The number is necessary self-restraint for we love the art of costuming too much. We'll choose three costumes from a chosen film to discuss. Otherwise each episode would be six thousands words and twenty-five images long. As with Daniel's series "The Furniture," which focuses on Production Design, I'll alternate between contemporary and older films.

Let's begin with one of this year's Best Costume Design Oscar nominees La La Land. Contemporary films rarely receive this honor. Out of the 85 films nominated this century thus far for costumes, only 4 have been contemporary films: The Devil Wears Prada, The Queen, I Am Love, and now La La Land. But let's state this clearly up front: La La Land deserved the nomination. 

While the guiding principle of La La Land's costume design by Mary Zophres is simplicity, this should not be confused for subtlety...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan252017

Two silly questions about dressing up and playing house with the Oscar contenders

Okay, one final round of question for Team Experience about the Oscar nominations. We've talked about people who didn't make the list and the nominations that delighted us. Now, two burning questions inspired by the Production Design and Costume nominations.

Which production design nominated picture would you most want to live inside?

GLENN: Hail, Caesar!, but only if Tilda Swinton and I find ourselves running around movie studio backlots set to a zippy orchestral soundtrack. I might just sneakily pop into Passengers' robot bar for a drink when we're done.

DAVID: The moment I saw the ridiculously giant Ingrid Bergman wall in La La Land is the moment I knew that film was definitely on my wavelength...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan202017

Oscar Predix & Personal Ballots: The Moulin Rouge! Categories...

If you've read The Film Experience for any length of time beyond let's say, a week, you'll know that we live for eye candy. Three of the cinematic arts that most regularly provide this are, outside of beautiful movie stars in the acting categories, Production Design and Costume Design i.e. the Moulin Rouge! categories. We love these categories so much we have two weekly series for them, Daniel Walber's "The Furniture" and my own forthcoming costume series "Three Fittings".

Anyway, it's time to make our final predictions for Oscar but it's also time to get those Film Bitch Awards (my own long running awards jamboree) going. So herewith my personal ballot and, putting the pundit hat on, my Oscar predictions. These two modes should not be confused... so apologies for discussing them simultaneously. This is what happens when you procrastinate!

Will Stuart Craig receive his 5th nomination directly from the Potterverse (he had 6 nominations and 3 wins before the Potterverse took over his life)

Production Design - Oscar Predictions
I figure this is a slot for the BAFTA surging Nocturnal Animals and I'm predicting that at the expensive of the haunting minimalistic sci-fi of Arrival (work I really really love. Sigh). That damn outdoor potty and the opening art world light slabs will do it. This is an interesting category, though, and I'm going to predict The Handmaiden both because it is hugely deserving and because of all the critics foreign film prizes and the LAFCA prize in this very category. If Park Chan Wook's brilliant film is going to score anywhere it will be here (with an outside shot at costumes, too). There's plentiful buzz around Doctor Strange and Fantastic Beasts (they do love the Harry Potter films in this category but come one, how many times do we need to dip in that well with so many richly art directed films of all genres happening each year ?!?). Question: is Doctor Strange really well liked enough to score multiple nods when so many other Marvel Studio films couldn't do it? 

NATHANIEL'S BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN BALLOT
• DANIEL, WHO WRITES "THE FURNITURE," ALSO NAMED HIS 5 FAVORITES 

 

Costume Design
If you really give in to the predictive mania of at home Oscar punditry costume design will surely drive you craziest. What an impossible category to predict this year!  Since the CDG has multiple categories they've covered a ton of possibilities  and the ones they didn't still have buzz for costumes anyway. Just thinking casually about the films won't help. On paper you might think: oh easy, period pieces + a little Colleen Atwood and you're done (Jackie, Florence Foster Jenkins, Hidden Figures, Love & Friendship, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). But not so fast. Silence, Hail Caesar, and Allied also feature period costumes and they're both buzzing for this category which is easily understandable if you've seen them given the gorgeous work. Even stranger, at least in terms of Oscar history, is that people are talking up not one but two contemporary films: Captain Fantastic as a dark horse (yes please) and La La Land as a sure thing. And that's before you even consider outside possibilities like Kubo and the Two Strings (which wants to be the first animated film nominated here, with all those lovingly detailed miniature costumes), less showy period fare like Fences, Cafe Society or Loving, a costuming legend in Albert Wolsky (Rules Don't Apply). Finally there's a foreign possibility in this category, too, via the The Handmaiden. Here's my best guess though I'm prepared to go 1 or 2 for 5 because I've taken quite a chance on two of them that aren't anything like sure things (The Dressmaker and Hidden Figures) but who the hell knows!?!

 

Tuesday
Jan172017

The Costumes are Coming

New Series!

T H R E E    F I T T I N G S
Thursdays • TFE •  Jan 26th

Consider it a companion series to "The Furniture" if you will. While Daniel continues to bring us Production Design pieces on Mondays, Nathaniel will be looking at the art of costume design each Thursday.

Thursday
Jan122017

Instagram Battles: Armie, Helen, or Arianne?

Would you rather?

...shave Armie Hammer's chest

...draw a bath for Dame Helen Mirren 

...or fill out an Oscar costume design ballot with Arianne Phillips? 

...help Chris Pratt with his hair and makeup? 

Click to read more ...

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